The US and the UK sent cyberwarfare teams to Ukraine because of concerns that Russia could potentially launch a cyberattack, as reported by The New York Times. The report published on Monday, December 20, said that the US and the UK think Russian President, Vladimir Putin, may soon attempt to launch a cyberattack targeting Ukraine’s electrical grid, banking system, and other critical infrastructure.
“The United States and the United Kingdom secretly sent cyberwar experts to Ukraine in the hope of better preparing it for confrontation,” the newspaper writes.
As specified, US officials declined to describe the type of cyber teams that were sent to Ukraine while the UK government described its support to Ukraine as defensive in nature. The report added, citing US intelligence, that Putin may also be trying to make Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelensky, look inept.
It is noted that the implementation of the threats “will not be an invasion with 175 thousand troops, which Russia gathers at the border, but cyber attacks that disable the power grid, banking system and other important components of the economy and government of Ukraine.”
The newspaper quotes Senator Angus King, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, who said, “I don’t think there is the slightest doubt that if there is an invasion or another kind of invasion of Ukraine, it will start from cyberspace.”
Besides, the outlet writes that American representatives claim to be “on high alert” due to the approach of the Christmas holidays, assuming that if Russia “really undertakes a cyberattack, either as an independent action or as a harbinger of a physical attack, then most likely it will happen after Orthodox Christmas, at the end of the first week of January, according to sources with intelligence.”